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Retirement

Retirement or “The Golden Years,” as they are often called, is a stage of your life when income from employment stops flowing, and you must rely on savings and government funds.

The life stage of retirement includes all the legal challenges you might face at this time of your life, from asset protection, to succession planning for your business, to downsizing your home, and more. Please review the list below and watch the videos, then call one of our estate planning attorneys with questions about your particular situation.

Asset preservation

Many people shudder to think about the impact of financing nursing home care with the financial resources that they spend a lifetime building. Long-term care in a nursing home setting is very expensive, with a typical cost of $12,000 per month or more. Many Americans believe that the federal government or Medicare will pay for their long-term care. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There are various means of financing long-term care, and often it is possible to do so while also protecting a portion of assets. In Massachusetts, long-term care is provided under the MassHealth system. In Connecticut, long-term care is provided by the Department of Social Services, or DSS. For both states, the application and qualification process is highly regulated, nuanced, and subject to continuous change. Whether you are a resident of Massachusetts or Connecticut, our legal team can help you plan for the future and protect your assets.

Charitable remainder and annuity trusts

These trusts provide significant tax and non-tax benefits to you, your family, and charities. We can draft the most appropriate type of trust to suit your needs and also prepare tax calculators to determine your tax savings.

Durable power of attorney

A durable power of attorney (POA) is one of the most important and powerful legal documents that everyone should have as part of their estate plan. If you should become mentally incapacitated or physically disabled, it allows you to appoint someone to take control of your financial affairs that you usually take care of yourself, and eliminates the necessity of a guardianship or conservatorship. This document allows your attorney-in-fact to handle your affairs without the necessity of formal probate proceedings, thereby saving expenses and emotional energy, and retaining privacy. You retain the right to modify or revoke the power at any time, and it terminates automatically on your death. The appointed individual or attorney-in-fact typically has the power to buy or sell real estate, manage your property, conduct your banking transactions, invest your money, make legal claims, conduct litigation, attend to tax and retirement matters, and make gifts on your behalf. The POA is an important document to have, and Bacon Wilson can help you draft the most appropriate one for you.

Estate administration questionnaire

Please download and complete the attached form prior to your first meeting with your probate attorney. The information is necessary to complete the estate tax return. Please bring this form with you to the meeting.

Estate administration questionnaire

Estate planning questionnaire

Please download and complete the attached form prior to your first meeting with your estate planning attorney, and please bring it with you to your meeting.

Estate planning questionnaire

Gifting

You may give away up to $14,000 to a person each year (currently in 2013) without having to file a gift tax return, and up to $5,250,000 over your lifetime (as of 2013) without paying any gift tax, in addition to the annual gifts of $14,000. Gifting may be useful to alleviate taxes because children and grandchildren are often in a lower tax bracket than you are and thus will not have to pay such a large tax on the interest as you would. Gifting may also help fund a child’s or grandchild’s education or provide for their medical expenses. The Bacon Wilson legal team can assist you with gifting.

MassHealth & Medicaid planning

Many people shudder to think about the impact of financing nursing home care with the financial resources that they spend a lifetime building. Long-term care in a nursing home setting is very expensive, with a typical cost of $12,000 per month or more. Many Americans believe that the federal government or Medicare will pay for their long-term care. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There are various means of financing long-term care, and often it is possible to do so while also protecting a portion of assets. In Massachusetts, long-term care is provided under the MassHealth system. In Connecticut, long-term care is provided by the Department of Social Services, or DSS. For both states, the application and qualification process is highly regulated, nuanced, and subject to continuous change. Whether you are a resident of Massachusetts or Connecticut, our legal team can help you plan for the future and protect your assets.

Parental care agreements

When an aging parent needs assistance to continue to live at home, many children opt to provide the needed care personally. The caretaker child arrangement begins when either the parent begins residing with the child in the child’s home, or the child begins residing or continues to reside with the parent in the parent’s home and child provides the care similar to that of a board and care facility.

When a child provides care for a parent, it is best to establish a care agreement. This is a contract between the parent and the child, and possibly the child’s spouse, in which the parent agrees to pay the child a monetary sum (in either a lump sum or on an ongoing basis) or to finance an improvement to the child’s home. In return, the child agrees to care for the parent until either the parent passes away or is no longer able to perform the activities of daily living, which include:

  • Bathing
  • Eating
  • Dressing
  • Transferring
  • Toileting

When establishing a care agreement, there are numerous considerations and potential pitfalls to be addressed. At Bacon Wilson, our experienced legal team can help.

Succession planning

Owners of closely held business must plan well in advance to prepare for and ensure the continued success of the company following a triggering event such as the death, disability, or retirement of one of its shareholders. For family-owned businesses looking to carry the organization along through generations, the typical track record is ominous. According to the Small Business Administration, 90% of the 21 million U.S. businesses are family-owned, and one-third of Fortune 500 businesses are either family-owned or family-controlled. However, only 30% of family-run companies today succeed into the second generation and only 15% are passed on into the third generation. At Bacon Wilson, we can assist with the orderly transition of your business.

Why every woman needs an estate plan

Resolve Now to Review Your Estate Plan in 2015

Year End Tax Planning – It’s Not Too Late

Recognizing Elder Abuse

Taking the Guesswork Out of Choosing an Attorney

Qualifying for Medicaid: What Families Need to Know About What Dictates Eligibility

Restoring Veterans’ Benefits: Proposed Federal Legislation Could Bring Financial Changes

‘Tis the Season . . . to Review Your Estate Plan: A New Year’s Resolution That’s Easy to Keep

Reverse Mortgages for the Affluent, Too: Are You Up to Speed on the Advantages and New Regulations for 2014?

A Never-ending Process – Here’s a Helpful Estate-planning Year-end Checklist

Things to Know When Your Child is Also Your Caregiver

Estate Tax Update

An Estate Plan is Only Four Documents Away

Estate Planning Myths Explained

Assisted Living or In-home Care? This Can Often Be a Difficult Decision for Your Loved One

Estate Planning 2013: Changes That May Affect You

Moving Forward with a Reverse Mortgage

Uncle Sam is Coming to Dinner – Act Now for Year-End Tax Planning

Protecting Assets from Nursing Home Costs

Elders and Driving: The Delicate Balance Between Safety and Independence

Is an IDIOT Trust Ever a Smart Choice?

The Life Estate Deed – One Option for Protecting Your Home

Long-Term Care for Elderly – Facing the Future

Asset Protection Planning: Strategies for saving your money from nursing home expenses

Taking the Guesswork out of Choosing an Attorney

Preserving Your Home – One of Your Most Valuable Assets

Deed with Life Estate: Understanding the Pros and Cons of This Handy Estate-planning Tool

Charitable Giving and Medicaid Issues

Male Perspective Estate Planning

Estate Planning Concerns for Women

Understanding Veterans’ Benefits Assistance: Is Available to Those Who Qualify Financially

Do You Need a Trust? – Perhaps to Your Surprise, the Answer Is Probably ‘Yes’

Plan Now to Avoid Paying Nursing Home Costs

Avoiding Caregiver Stress

Estate Planning Myths Explained

You Can’t Take it With You . . . Consider Charity in Your Final Plans

Long-term Care Insurance – How to Protect Your Nest Egg and Provide for Your Care

For the Love of Your Partner . . . Plan Now

Estate Planning for Women

Moving Forward with a Reverse Mortgage

Is It Time to Update the Estate Plan? – Consider These Triggering Events to Avoid Potentially Disastrous Results

Age-old Question – When Should You Begin Receiving Social Security Benefits?

Veterans Pension and Benefits: A Little Secret That Veterans Need to Know

Your Plan Your Way – Peace of mind through retirement and beyond

Starting a Small Business in Your Retirement – Reviewing Your Options

Reverse Mortgages Demystified – Borrowing the Equity in Your Own Residence Can Provide Financial Security

Home Sweet Home – Reverse Mortgages Can Keep You from Becoming Institutionalized

A Sense of Community – Assisted Living Facilities – A Means to Live Independently Longer

Effective Planning to Transition a Business

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“When I had my first will done several years ago, it was one page and no fine details. Then I met attorney Gina Barry, and a dozen pages later I have a perfect will. Gina’s knowledge and attention to detail is outstanding. I highly recommend using her for any type of estate planning.” -Debbie
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“I have known Gina Barry since 2003 when we met at a professional group BNI. Since then, I have hired her to work with my mother’s estate as well as prepare my own will. I have found her integrity and expertise in her field second to none. Gina has the ability to carefully plan your life estate so you can rest assured, live your life without doubt!” December 21, 2008

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Dear Gina (Barry),
Thank you once again to you and your superb team for assisting me with the MassHealth situation. You truly continue to be a life saver for me… You keep me steady by responding with terrific legal and general health solutions, which are really very appreciated.

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Stan
Julie (Dialessi-Lafley,) thank you for everything yesterday. You are truly the best attorney ever
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